If there is only one thing you take away from this course, let it be this: in order to achieve what you want in life, your ego must get out of the way. It means that if you do things for the sake of appeasing your ego, such as increasing your self-worth, feeling superior to others, proving something to others, etc., you will inevitably fail and invite pain and suffering into your life. Most of the things we do in life are for the sake of the physical body, which is perfectly normal.
Living in a nice house, eating tasty food, enjoying sex, traveling – anything you can think of is done for the sensations that we receive through our five sense organs and have nothing to do with the ego. On the other hand, things like career advancement, recognition, power, etc. are done for the sake of inflating the ego and perpetuating its sickness. There is another category of desires, which pamper the soul, but those are not part of the ego structure. These desires get automatically fulfilled once the virus is eradicated.
Look at the inventory of your personal desires to see which ones are aimed at pampering the physical body and which ones are just there to inflate the ego and make your feel good about yourself. Those that are there for the sake of the physical body are healthy and must be fulfilled. The rest should either be converted to physical desires or discarded. Remember that if you continue to chase after things for the sake of appeasing the ego, you will only end up with pain and suffering.
– Paragraph out of a “Understanding The Ego” Discourse 8 of a Master Course